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  #1  
Old 02-19-2007, 12:38 AM
chummy chummy is offline
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12' Aluminum Modifications

An old 12' Aluminum boat has fallen into my hands for free. I plan to make it a good bass fishin boat. It is really narrow. I might sand and paint it... what paint? It has two built in seats that are like benches that go all the way across- I don't think I can take these out because A they have foam inside so I won't sink and B they provide support to the boat's frame. It also has a flat bow area. I'll work on getting pics up. I plan on putting it on top of my jeep, not using a trailor.

1. Suggestions for an engine? So far I was thinking an electric trolling motor will be all I need, I would love input.
2. Floor suggestions? So far I'm thinking plywood covered in outdoor carpet.
3. Other suggestions? All else I have planned now is a few rodholders and a little plyers/knife holder. I'm trying to keep it light.
4. Chair suggestions.... where/ what kind of swivel chair is good but cheap? Or should I just go with football stadium seats that fold up and won't attach to the boat?
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2007, 09:46 AM
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ted655 ted655 is offline
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Is this a light guage rivited boat or the heavier "Bass Pro" type. You are right on both counts about the seats. As far as powering it, I question the range of the trolling motor. If operating out in open water (even lakes) I would worry about safety. Look om i-boats website for a used "program" OB, say.... 15-25 hp. There are other sites that sell these used Canadian fish camp motors. Just Google.
http://www.boatmotors.com/
A ply covered floor will add weight & breed smell. If you have skill & access to a table saw, I prefer a grid of ceder or cypress wood mats Perhaps 3 for a 12', that can be removed. Mine are 1"" apart, held together by a cross brace every 16". The joints all interlock to make a flat floor grid.
Cabella's & Bass Pro Shop both have enough goodies for that type of boat, to the point of bankruptcy. Enjoy.
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Ted says: If it has tits, tires, or a transom, there's gonna be issues!
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:00 PM
chummy chummy is offline
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Thanks for the input.

Its a light, rivited boat. My interest in a trolling motor rather than gas was that I'm running on some iffy finances... I'm in high school. Ive noticed that gas powered motors seem more expensive and was wondering what lb thrust I would need to run with this setup... or if I would need such a powerful electric that a gas powered low hp would be cheaper? I just don't think I can swing a 15 hp motor with the $700 (tops) I can pull together. I have no idea what a 70lb thrust translates to for my boat.. all I do know is that i wont need a ton of speed.
Secondly, how do I make or where do I buy these mats? Sounds like a great idea and I do have access to a saw table, but did not find them online just now. Could you put a picture of something like that up?

thanks
-chummy
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:28 PM
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ted655 ted655 is offline
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Here, think about this. A good battery, charger & trolling motor may even cost more.
http://www.smalloutboards.com/bg5.htm
No pics of the mats. Just cut some 1" wide X 11/2" thick strips (say 4' long or so). Each mat will be a little different in length and width to better fit the shape of the boat.
Where the cross pcs intersect the strips, cut 3/4" from the strip & 3/4" from the cross pcs, (these "notches" are called dados), something like a log cabin corner is made. Use stainless screws. Use a treated wood or a wood that resists rot. Cedar, cypress, OR ACQ treated 2 X 4s, ripped into strips. Make spaces between the strips about 1". It should look like a "cat walk" or grate.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:45 PM
chummy chummy is offline
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thanks alot. i'm thinkin ive got some work to do when i get my cast off this weekend.


thanks

-chummy
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2007, 10:12 PM
chummy chummy is offline
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would this trolling motor
http://www.theoutdoorworld.com/products2.cfm?id=7156
push the boat upstream at a few mph?
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2007, 12:48 AM
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ted655 ted655 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chummy View Post
would this trolling motor
http://www.theoutdoorworld.com/products2.cfm?id=7156
push the boat upstream at a few mph?
Depends on the waters you'll be operating in How swift is the current? Also figure in the wind. What is your round trip distance? Here's the deal on ONLY using a trolling motor Chummy. First is battery drain. The best AGM battery will run you around for 2-4 hrs. A good one costs around $250.00. It has a lifespan of only 400 recharges IF drawn all the way down. Human nature will lead you to do this more often than you think.
It is reccomended that a battery be drawn down to no more than 60% of it's full capacity for the most life of the battery. This reduces your distance a bunch! Another problem is proper charging. Over charge the batt & its life is shortened even more. Another issue is THE most important. Safety. the "cheaper" more affordable notor you are looking at is nothing but right on the edge of being big enough. It will not bring you out of a storm or other emergencys that often come up.
By the time you streach your $$$$ to include the components you need, your wad is gone. The lifespan of what you spent it on is short. Then your electric gadgets are broken & you are broke.
Somehow, someway.... go with GAS buddy
Be safe & let us know how it turns out.
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Ted says: If it has tits, tires, or a transom, there's gonna be issues!
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2007, 10:37 AM
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timgoz timgoz is offline
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Ted is 100% correct. Unless you are staying on a farm pond or really small lake, electric is not practical.

For such a small boat a 6hp-9.9hp outboard should do you fine.

If you put the boat to use alot, the outboard's initial higher cost will pay itself back very soon. Electric would be an underperforming pain in the a...!

Even a 12 footer will not get up on plan with normal electric motors. If it could it would eat up your battery's juice in no time.

As Ted mentioned, the low thrust of an electric motor could prove dangerous if unexpected heavy weather develops. Just working into a moderate headwind could prove troublesome.

And don't forget, no mattter your engine/motor choice, have proper oars and functioning oar-locks on your boat.

Take care.

TGoz
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2007, 01:18 PM
messabout messabout is offline
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I reckon your boat does not need as much power as suggested above. 15 to 25 Hp is madness on such a small boat. I see people overpowering their boats nearly every day. Yes, they usually get away with it but why not use common sense. You said that the boat is narrow and has a "flat bow area". It sounds like you have a boat that Florida fishermen call a John Boat. It is essentially a mortar box and certainly not sufficient for big power. A 2 to 4 HP motor will do fine and remain reasonably safe to operate. The smaller motors are not so heavy as to sink the transon. In addition they will not cost as much to buy or to operate.

Floors: Unless the boat is made of Reynolds wrap you dont need to bother with floorboards. A non skid floor surface can be created easily. Clean the floors thoroughly...Paint the places where you are likely to step....While the paint is wet, sprinkle some builders sand very lightly into the painted area....let dry thoroughly....Vacuum out the excess sand....Paint over the top of the sand that is stuck in the first coat of paint. Done. For a durable but budget conscious paint job you can use acrylic latex house paint. It is not as shiny as high dollar urethane but it lasts long. If you use the water based paint you must let it harden for at least ten days before exposing it to immersion. After that, no problem. There are industrial grade, water based paints that stick to aluminum somewhat better than ordinary house paint. Go to a paint store, not Home Depot or other big box store. The guys at most paint stores know what works best.

I really appreciate the tranquility afforded by the electric motors. On the right boat, even a small electric will get you where you are going when the weather is fair. Your boat may not be the right boat. Other respondents have suggested that electrics are not adequate in bad weather. I agree wholeheartedly. Do take the advice of having some oars. There will be times that you want to use them and times when you have to use them. You may even consider using oar propulsion in the short term while you find and finance the motor. John boats do not row well but it can be done and you may even find it to be fun.

12 foot john boats are typically 36 inches wide on the bottom and they do not have a lot of freeboard. They are definitely not foul weather boats. They do have some things to recommend them such as light weight, durability, and the ability to store them outdoors without fear of serious deterioration, and as boats go, they are inexpensive. These boats will survive some pretty nasty weather if you keep the weight of the contents very low in the boat. If you get caught in rough water or in the wakes of some jackass powerboats, sit on the bottom until the danger is over. The first thing you buy is a good PFD and the second thing you do is use it as intended. People who may deride you as a sissy, for wearing the PFD are stupid.

We wish you well with your project and hope you enjoy it immensely.
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2007, 09:47 PM
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PAR PAR is offline
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Accept the advise about electric trolling motors, they're great for putting about at 2 MPH while looking for fish, but are of little other use in a craft like your john boat. 2 -5 HP will get you around, but pretty darned slowly, 10 HP will get you up on plane and scoot you along at a respectable clip, without requiring dental work after a rough outing. I've personally used 25 HP on that size craft, but it was more engine then it could use, comfortably.

The floor is more then able to take your weight, but if you desire, strips of 1" stock could be cut, about 2 to 3" wide to provide you a wooden floor. You'll want these floor boards raised up so water can drain under and also removable so you can clean out fish guts and stuff. Carpeted plywood will rot pretty quickly, plus get slimy fast.

The law in your state requires "secondary propulsion" (which means oars or paddles) be in the boat during operation. Engines quit, fuel runs out and it's a good idea in any small craft. The law also requires PFD's, signaling devises and noise makers. Do yourself a favor and take a free boat handling course at the local Power Squadron. You'll learn a lot and be a much safer boater.

Used engines aren't that bad (cost wise) though you may have to repair it to get it in top shape. Look around for a 10 to 15 HP. If you have to settle for less then 10 HP then find a 5 that has reverse gear. Under 5 HP and you'll have no reverse and be married to the tiller.

Wal-Mart sells a cheapo chair, which you can mount on one of the thwarts (bench seat thingie). Swivels can be had there too. Don't mount it very high, just enough so your feet are flat on the floor (about 16"). Also make note of Messaboaut's words on powerboat wakes or thick chop. John boats are pretty stable, but being small and light can move around a lot more then you think in certain conditions. If she starts rolling and rocking more then you feel comfortable in, hit the floor and wait it out. A passing wake can easily toss you in the drink, if you're not paying attention.

Have fun . . .
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2007, 07:01 AM
chummy chummy is offline
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It definately is a John Boat. 36 wide, 12'. I did not use the phrase earlier becuase alot of times around here john boat often means anything aluminum. (any size)
I already have whistle, flares, lifejacket, oars and locks, and other legality devices- my family is from the river.

I'm down now to decideing if i'll use this boat in the lake by my house or take it up some creeks in the Rappahannock River and other lakes. If I choose the latter of the two I think I'll try to find a cheaper 5hp with reverse. Thanks for showing me that B&S Ted. If I go with the lake i'll probably use a trolling motor. No need for much more in there.


Thanks everyone. Oh, and I will be putting in mats. And probably sanding / painting it before I go to college next year.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2007, 09:45 AM
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ted655 ted655 is offline
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Just a note ya'll. It's spelled Jon. Jon boat.
Main thing Chummy, AFTER saftey is to enjoy that boat!
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Ted says: If it has tits, tires, or a transom, there's gonna be issues!
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2007, 12:07 PM
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ted655 ted655 is offline
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There was a reason I took time to give you the link to the Briggs boat engine. It is something you can afford! In more ways than one. It uses standard plain gas (no oul mix). It has no waterpump. Any lawnmower repair shop can work on it.. It has simple controls and components.. Things a young fellow on a budget will need.
Is it perfect? Heck no. BUT (I think) in your case, it is a good choise.
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Ted says: If it has tits, tires, or a transom, there's gonna be issues!
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